This summer, Meadow Brook hosted the annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner to celebrate the devoted and passionate group of volunteers that lead tours, tend the gardens, and create preservation projects to restore the history and legacy of The Hall.
Meadow Brook Volunteers reaching at least fifty hours of service during 2022 joined in on a night of celebration and were recognized for their consistent dedication and passion for Meadow Brook. The evening included a three-course meal by Meadow Brook’s in-house chef, award ceremony, dancing, and open bar.
A total of 32 volunteers achieved 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 40 milestone years of service volunteering as a host or docent, in the Garden Club or Museum Store, or as a Squire, Naturalists, or in collections and curatorial care. Gwen Kirby was awarded and recognized for her 50 years of devoted volunteer service to Meadow Brook Hall.
Every year, one volunteer is awarded the Barbara Thorpe Award, a merit based award where recipients are selected by Meadow Brook staff for generously giving their time, skills, and heart to the Great Estate. Barbara Thorpe was a longtime volunteer at Meadow Brook who grew up around the estate because her father worked at the Meadow Brook dairy department. The volunteers who receive the Barbara Thorpe Award share her passion for service and a devoted commitment to preserving the Meadow Brook legacy.
The 2022 Barbara Thorpe award winner, Ken Hanna, has been a host, docent, and volunteer captain at Meadow Brook for over a decade. He was drawn to Meadow Brook from a love of automobiles which started because his father worked on Dodge advertisement. When Ken is not leading Guided and Behind-the-Scenes tours, he can often be found being a camera or at his home in Arizona.
Meadow Brook would not be the educational, community-driven institution it is today if not for the great efforts and dedication of Ken Hanna and the over 300 volunteers at Meadow Brook Hall. Thank you for your loyalty and service to the Great Estate.